When I was a kid, every month we would go out to a high-end restaurant or country club buffet for Sunday brunch. At these buffets, I would be confronted with hotel pans with fancy chrome lids resting in their stands above Sterno stoves. In one of these pans would be one of my favorite things: bacon. Thin, very evenly browned in a deep red color, lacking any char marks, and also with none of the broad strips of chewy fat I was used to, these paranormally crispy, light productions were somehow piled high in ten pound portions in a pan, free for the taking.
Now, my parent's and my own history of pan-cooking bacon produced none of these qualities. Differential rates of shrinking end up with bacon that never cooks evenly and turns wrinkly (whereas many strips of 'Buffet Bacon' end up flat as a board), and always with significant texture differences between fat and lean streaks, something that was difficult to discern in this dish. I've finally managed to create a bacon product I enjoy more than my parent's iteration, with thick center-cut bacon cooked on low heat for half an hour, only half a dozen strips at a time... but I still wonder at the crispy deliciousness I enjoyed as a kid, produced in such quantities as I can barely imagine. The few attempts I've made at oven-cooking bacon either resulted in the strips sticking together or a series of small greasefires.
How would I replicate 'buffet bacon'?